NFL picks and regular season forecasts can be considered a breeze compared to those in the NFL playoffs, where all 12 participating teams deserve their places on the AFC and NFC brackets. Of course, based on the playoffs, the 2020 wild card round offers some relatively easy choices.
The Patriots and Saints opened as home-grown favorites over the Vikings and the Titans, respectively, for the wild card round. It’s the other two games this weekend that are annoying when it comes to forecasts.
The Texans opened their home favorites on the accounts as a three-point pick, essentially making this game fly in the eyes of Vegas. Likewise, the Seahawks opening up 1 1/2 points favorite over the Eagles presents a difficult scenario, as Seattle has to go on a long road trip to tackle a Philadelphia team that feels good about itself.
Given all of the above, here are the NFL playoffs picks, predictions for this weekend’s wild card games. All odds are courtesy of SportsInsider.com.
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NFL Playoff Options, Predictions for Wild Card Games
Josh Allenhttps: //images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/6a/ee/josh-allen-081319-getty-ftr_1nnbp2wzllxp17h7lktuudlbk.jpg? T = -1949514868 & w = 500 & quality = 80
- Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans (-3)
Saturday, 4:35 pm ET, ESPN
Another Saturday afternoon wild-card game for the Texans, another tough matchup. Despite the often brilliant play of Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins, Houston is an average offensive team that is bad news against the league’s second-best defense and the third-best yards unit. Without a major threat from the Texans running, Bill’s defensive defense of the accounts can focus on getting Hopkins out of the game.
On the other side of the ball, the relevant accounts offense offense this year will probably not be a factor in the Texans’ defense that gave up 388.3 yards per game in the regular season. Houston will have no answer for John Brown’s speed or Cole Beasley’s speed, and Buffalo will get plenty of ground from Devin Singletary and Frank Gore on the ground to pass Houston and Baltimore for the competition round.
Choose: Bills 24, Texans 17
Tom Bradyhttps: //images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/a2/a/tom-brady-102119-getty-ftrjpg_iuggtkp4qzw8125do9oe6qrj6.jpg? T = -277047627 & w = 500 & quality = 80
- Tennessee Titans in New England Patriots (-5)
Saturday, 8:15 pm ET, CBS
Although the Patriots suffered an embarrassing loss to end their regular season, the Titans could not be more excited to see the defending champions fall to the No. 3 seed. New England did not lose a game after the end of the season by since falling to Baltimore in the playoff round since the 2012 season and has not lost a wild card game at home in a decade.
For all of the Patriots’ offense in offense this season, they finished in the NFL’s seventh-best scoring percentage per game and have the ultimate adaptation crew in Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady. In addition, New England’s top defense has all the elements needed to close out the likes of A.J. Brown and Corey Davis, and will get what Tennesse does best – the power running game with Derrick Henry.
Choose: Patriots 27, Titans 17
Drew Breeshttps: //images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/20/a5/drew-brees-091219-getty-ftrjpg_12nwftravcfq61xer1l2bhgepw.jpg? T = 626652749 & w = 500 & quality = 80
- Minnesota Vikings in New Orleans Saints (-8)
Sunday, 1:05 pm ET, Fox
The Vikings knew they would be on a tough road trip to the wild card round, no matter what happened in Week 17, and it came in the form of a game Sunday afternoon at the ill-fated Superdome against the hottest team in the NFL outside Baltimore. Minnesota is one of the league’s most round teams, but New Orleans, reinforced by Alvin Kamara’s resurgence to congratulate Michael Thomas, has rediscovered the groove.
In an effort to control possession time and keep the crowd to a minimum, the Vikings will want to use the zone that led Dalvin Cook and have rushed to extend the asphalt throughout the season. The problem is that the Saints have the fourth-best NFL defense. If this is a duel between Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins, Minnesota will lose.
Choose: Saints 30, Vikings 21
Russell Wilsonhttps: //images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/72/3/russell-wilson-101719-getty-ftrjpg_1f7xqxlaeut6d1bzp0zzhlqrjs.jpg? T = -641329627 & w = 500 & quality = 80
- Seattle Seahawks (-1 1/2) at Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, 4:40 pm ET, NBC
Depending on the outcome of the Week 17 game against the 49ers, the Seahawks will either host the Vikings or travel to Philly to play the Eagles in the wild-card round. Although Seattle must now go on a long journey, this is the best matchup for Russell Wilson and Co.
That doesn’t mean Seattle will get out of Philadelphia with an easy win – far from it. In a stunning series of events, the Eagles not only host a playoff, but are the team least affected by injuries. The Seahawks defense holes will be a problem against Carson Wentz in the first QB playoff start, but the Eagles’ defense has a bigger problem with Wilson. This will be another close game between two teams that seem to only play in close games, and in this type of competition, we trust the Seahawks QB to almost anyone.
Choose: Seahawks 27, Eagles 24